Welcoming the Blessed Month of Ramadan‏

Welcoming the Blessed Month of Ramadan‏

The month of Ramadan is arriving , the month of fasting and prayer. It is the month that provides an opportunity for forgiveness from Allah and emancipation from our sins. It is the month for performing good deeds and giving in charity. It is the month when the gates of the heavens are opened and the rewards for our deeds are magnified many times over. It is the month wherein prayers are answered and the status of the worshipper is elevated. It is the month wherein sins are forgiven.  Allah bestows so many blessings upon his servants in the month of Ramadan. This is the month of fasting that is one of the five pillars of Islam. Rasulullah (SAW) fasted during this month and directed his followers to do the same. He told us that whoever fasts this month with faith, seeking Allah’s reward, will have all of his past sins forgiven. He likewise informed us that whoever stands in prayer throughout this month will have all of his past sins forgiven. The month of Ramadan contains within it a night that is superior to a thousand months. Whoever is denied the goodness of that night is indeed deprived.  We should welcome this month and embrace it with happiness and joy. We should have the truest resolve to observe the fasts and the prayers and to compete in doing righteous deeds. During this month, we should ardently repent for all of our sins and encourage each other to engage in virtuous deeds and call to what is right and forbid what is wrong. In this way, we will succeed in attaining the blessings and the great rewards of Ramadan.  The fast provides us with many benefits and is full of wisdom. It purifies and strengthens our hearts. It rids us of our baser tendencies like exuberance, arrogance, and stinginess. It reinforces our good traits like fortitude, clemency, and generosity. It supports us in our inner struggle to please Allah and attain nearness to Him.  Fasting teaches us about ourselves and our needs. It shows us how weak we are and how truly dependent we are upon our Lord. It shows us how much Allah has blessed us. We are reminded of our brethren those who are less fortunate and are inspired to treat them well. We are compelled to thank Allah and to use the blessings He has provided us in obedience to Him. Allah draws attention to these many benefits when he says:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيۡڪُمُ ٱلصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِڪُمۡ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَتَّقُونَ

“O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it has been prescribed for those who were before you that you may learn self-restraint.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:183)

In this verse, Allah makes it clear that he prescribed fasting in order to purify us. Fasting is a means for us to learn self-restraint and cultivate our piety. Piety is to observe the commandments and prohibitions of Allah and His Messenger (SAW) sincerely out of our love and reverence for Allah, and to avoid His punishment and anger.  Fasting is a great act of piety in itself and a great means of increasing our piety in all aspects of our religious and worldly lives.  Rasulullah (SAW) pointed out one of the benefits of fasting when he said: “O young people, whoever among you has the wherewithal to marry should do so, because it assists us in lowering our gazes and safeguarding our private parts. Whoever cannot do so should fast, because fasting diminishes sexual power.”

The reason that fasting has this effect is because Shaytaan flows like blood through our veins. Fasting constrains this flow while and acts as a reminder of Allah and His greatness, thereby reducing Shaytaan’s influence over the fasting person while at the same time his faith strengthening. He naturally starts engaging in more acts of obedience and fewer acts of sin.  There are many other benefits of fasting that we can discover with a little thought and reflection. Fasting is good for bodily health. It gives the body a chance to purify itself of accumulated poisons, a fact which has been confirmed by numerous doctors.  The sacred texts speak quite extensively about the virtues of fasting in the month of Ramadan and about it being a duty upon the believers. Allah says:

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ كُتِبَ عَلَيۡڪُمُ ٱلصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِڪُمۡ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تَتَّقُونَ (١٨٣) أَيَّامً۬ا مَّعۡدُودَٲتٍ۬‌ۚ فَمَن كَانَ مِنكُم مَّرِيضًا أَوۡ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ۬ فَعِدَّةٌ۬ مِّنۡ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ‌ۚ وَعَلَى ٱلَّذِينَ يُطِيقُونَهُ ۥ فِدۡيَةٌ۬ طَعَامُ مِسۡكِينٍ۬‌ۖ فَمَن تَطَوَّعَ خَيۡرً۬ا فَهُوَ خَيۡرٌ۬ لَّهُ ۥ‌ۚ وَأَن تَصُومُواْ خَيۡرٌ۬ لَّڪُمۡ‌ۖ إِن كُنتُمۡ تَعۡلَمُونَ (١٨٤) شَہۡرُ رَمَضَانَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ فِيهِ ٱلۡقُرۡءَانُ هُدً۬ى لِّلنَّاسِ وَبَيِّنَـٰتٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡهُدَىٰ وَٱلۡفُرۡقَانِ‌ۚ فَمَن شَہِدَ مِنكُمُ ٱلشَّہۡرَ فَلۡيَصُمۡهُ‌ۖ وَمَن ڪَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوۡ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ۬ فَعِدَّةٌ۬ مِّنۡ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ‌ۗ يُرِيدُ ٱللَّهُ بِڪُمُ ٱلۡيُسۡرَ وَلَا يُرِيدُ بِڪُمُ ٱلۡعُسۡرَ وَلِتُڪۡمِلُواْ ٱلۡعِدَّةَ وَلِتُڪَبِّرُواْ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَٮٰكُمۡ وَلَعَلَّڪُمۡ تَشۡكُرُونَ (١٨٥)

“O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it has been prescribed for those who were before you that you may learn self-restraint. Fasting for a fixed number of days… The month of Ramadan in which the Qur’an was revealed, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and the criterion. So whoever witnesses the month should fast it. And whoever is sick or upon a journey should fast the same number of days (later on). Allah wishes ease for you and he does not wish hardship upon you. He wants that you should complete the period and that you should exalt Allah for that to which he has guided you that perhaps you may be thankful.” (Surah al-Baqarah 2:183-185)

Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Islam is built upon five things: testifying that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing prayer, paying Zakah, fasting the month of Ramadan, and the pilgrimage to the House.” (Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

When the angel Jibraeel (AS) asked Rasulullah (SAW) about Islam, he replied: “Islam is to bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to establish prayer, to pay charity, to fast the month of Ramadan, and to perform pilgrimage to the House if you are able to make the journey.”

Jibraeel (AS) then said: “You have spoken the truth.” Then he said: “Tell me about faith.”

Rasulullah (SAW) replied: “It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and divine decree, both the good and bad of it.”

Jibraeel (AS) said: “You have spoken the truth. Tell me about excellence in faith.”

Rasulullah (SAW) replied: “It is to worship Allah as though you see Him, and though you do not see Him, you know that He sees you.”

Jibraeel (AS) said: “You have spoken the truth.” (Sahih Muslim)

This Hadith is of considerable importance and deserves serious thought and consideration.

Once Mu`aadh b. Jabal (RA) said to Rasulullah (SAW): “Tell me about some deed that will admit me into Paradise and distance me from the Hellfire.”

Rasulullah (SAW) replied: “You have asked about something great, yet it is very simple for one for whom Allah makes it easy. Worship Allah and do not associate anything with him in worship. Establish prater, pay Zakah, fast the month of Ramadan, and undertake the pilgrimage to the House if you are able to do so.” Then Rasulullah (SAW) added: “Should I not inform you about the gates of goodness? Fasting is Paradise. Charity extinguishes sins like water extinguishes fire.” ( al-Tirmidhi) Fasting is a most virtuous act with a reward commensurate with its greatness. This is especially true in Ramadan, since Allah has made fasting therein an obligation upon the believers and a means of their attaining salvation.  Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Every deed of the human being is for himself and its reward is multiplied for him from ten to seven hundred times. Allah says: ‘Except for fasting, for truly it is for Me and I alone will reward it, for verily he abandoned his desires, his food, and his drink for my sake.’ The one who fasts experiences two joys, one upon breaking his fast and one when he meets his Lord. Surely the breath of the fasting person is sweeter to Allah than the fragrance of musk.” (Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

Rasulullah (SAW) said: “When Ramadan commences, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are bound in chains.” (Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

Rasulullah (SAW) said: “On the first night of Ramadan, the devils and rebellious jinn are bound in chains, The gates of Paradise are opened until not a single gate remains closed. The gates of Hell are bound shut until not a single gate remains open. Then a caller calls out: ‘O desirer of good, go forth! O desirer of evil, restrain yourself! Allah is emancipating people from the Fire every night’.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

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One comment on “Welcoming the Blessed Month of Ramadan‏

  1. kamana says:

    Ramadhan Kareem!

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